Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy has entered the transfer portal with three years of eligibility remaining. Murphy will not participate in the College Football Playoff, leaving five-star freshman Arch Manning as the primary backup to Quinn Ewers

"I hate it, I hate it," Murphy told ESPN. "I'm super invested in this team. Everything that we've done along the way and all the work we've put in together. It's hard to walk away, especially at this point during the season."

Murphy started two games for Texas in 2023 after Ewers suffered a shoulder injury, posting a 2-0 record. For his career, Murphy completed 56.3% of his passes for 477 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Two of his picks came in an overtime victory over No. 25 Kansas State, the then-reigning Big 12 champs. 

The Inglewood, California, native was poised to compete for the starting quarterback job at Texas in 2024. However, multiple reports have indicated Ewers is contemplating a return to school instead of entering the NFL Draft. If Ewers returned, Murphy's pathway to the full-time starting job would get much more difficult as a talented Manning waits in the wings. 

Murphy ranked as the No. 9 quarterback in the in the Class of 2022, according to 247Sports. Manning and Ewers each ranked as the No. 1 overall recruit in their respective classes. Murphy boasts an impressive an 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame and a cannon arm that gives him close to unparalleled upside. He missed much of 2021-22 dealing with injuries, leaving him plenty of untapped potential. 

Murphy should quickly become one of the most sought after signal-callers in the transfer portal. Last spring, 247Sports reported that multiple SEC schools and others from the Big Ten and Pac-12 reached out to gauge his interest in transferring. Coming out of high school, Murphy picked Texas over hometown UCLA. The Bruins could get back in the mix after losing former top-five national recruit Dante Moore to the transfer portal. 

"A place where I can play," he told ESPN when asked what he's looking for in a transfer destinationl. "Continue to get better and continue to be around great people and great players. And just do what's best for me and my career."

There are multiple quarterback-hungry teams in the SEC. South Carolina is losing quarterback Spencer Rattler to the NFL Draft, while Auburn endured wildly inconsistent play in Hugh Freeze's first season. If Murphy wants to stay in Texas or the Big 12, Houston, UTSA, TCU and Baylor could all be looking for quarterback help. 

Ewers is a lock to retain the starting job if he returns in 2024, with Manning next in line. Additionally, Texas has 3-star quarterback Trey Owens from Cy-Fair (Texas) High School committed in the Class of 2024.